If you were to ask a local what they did during their time in Ipoh, they would probably just say “eat” with a dismissive shrug of their shoulders. However, the old town has quite a lot to offer aside from serving as a gateway to Cameron Highlands.
Ipoh is the capital city of Perak and the fourth largest city in Malaysia, often compared to its more eminent counterpart, Penang. The two cities share similar features like Insta-worthy street art aesthetics, colonial architecture, the best local delicacies at hawker markets and that sweet nostalgia-filled ambience.
Nonetheless, the quieter atmosphere of Ipoh gives off an endearing vibe, accompanied with many interesting attractions waiting to be explored.
But first—let us explore the food. Malaysians love to eat.
1. White Coffee & Chinese Egg tarts
Ipoh is the birthplace of the famous white coffee, ever so creamy and rich. The beans used to prepare this delectable cuppa is roasted in pam oil margarine, giving it a sweet distinctive taste. There are various places to enjoy the white coffee: Chang Jiang White Coffee, Nam Heong White Coffee and of course, Old Town White Coffee. Let’s reiterate the words once more, for good measure. White coffee!
Another one of the best delicacies you don’t want to miss out on is their Chinese-style egg tarts. It’s basically sweet heaven in your mouth. You can indulge in these flaky pastries at Choy Kee Egg Tart and Hong Kee Egg Tart. Also, you may want to bring home some Kaya Puffs and and Heong Peah and peanut candies and—let’s move on.
2. Ernest Zacharevic’s Street Murals
1n 2014, Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic blessed us with his talented imaginative skills. Commissioned by Oldtown White Coffee, Zacharevic created eight murals in Oldtown Ipoh depicting the local culture and its history. Head on down to admire the beautiful street art and walk off your sins after stuffing your face with food.
These murals can easily be found on Google Maps, but frankly they are hard to miss.
Address: Jalan Dato Maharajalela, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
3. Han Chin Pet Soo Museum
Han Chin Pet Soo (translated as Han Chin Villa) is one of Ipoh’s newest attractions, a small museum in the restored Hakka Miners’ Club building. The exhibitions portray Perak’s tin mining heritage and provide insights into the dark backstory behind the members-only club, like prostitution, opium smoking, gambling, et cetera.
There is no entry fee but donations are certainly welcomed. To visit the museum, you will have to book an appointment in advance.
Address: No 3, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30100 Ipoh, Perak.
4. Ipoh Railway Station
Ipoh Railway Station was also coined as the ‘Taj Mahal of Ipoh’. Originally built in 1935 and designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, this beautiful building is known for its Moorish and Victorian-style architecture, transporting visitors back to colonial times. The building is surrounded by a dazzling garden, giving off a welcoming atmosphere.
Address: Stesen KTM, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
5. Lost World of Tambun
This theme park by Sunway is one of the best attractions in Ipoh for a fun-filled family (or friendmily). The Lost World of Tambun is divided into various sections, including a water park, a tiger valley as well as the Lost World Petting Zoo and Hot Springs. The theme park offers all kinds of rides for people of all ages, so bring anyone you’d like to share this experience with!
You can find out more about ticket prices and timings on their official website here.
Address: No 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway, Sunway City, 31150 Ipoh, Perak.
6. Perak Tong Cave Temple
Out of the many other cave temples in Ipoh, Perak Tong Cave is a favourite amongst visitors. This glorious cave temple dates back to 1926, where a magnificent gold statue of a sitting Buddha resides, rising 40 feet tall. The walls are embellished with colourful murals of Buddhist scriptures and characters from Chinese mythology, as well as sophisticated Chinese calligraphy.
Address: Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
7. Kinta Riverfront
Kinta Riverfront Walk is kind of like the Mini I-City of Ipoh, and is a great attraction to visit at night. Take a relaxing stroll along the river, lines with trees illuminated with kaleidoscopic LED lights. The riverfront restaurants and cafes, some of which have live bands performing, make it a perfect place for dinner with pretty views of twinkling lights.
Address: Jalan Lim Bo Seng, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Now that we’ve explored some of the interesting attractions Ipoh has to offer, it’s time to start planning your next trip—take a break from Penang and expand your horizons!
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